When the Warriors dealt for Jamal Crawford, things were already looking bleak. Their season wasn’t necessarily “over” already, but prospects for a playoff push seemed unlikely even at that point.
Thus, Chris Mullin had to believe that the addition of Crawford wouldn’t just patch the void left by Monta Ellis in the short term, but that it would also benefit them down the road.
We’ll get to see them all on the floor together for the first time this season on Wednesday night against Dallas (9 PM, ESPN), and maybe make some early judgments as to whether this whole thing can work out. In fact, it will also provide an opportunity to reexamine a question that most of us decided was answered after Golden State got off to a poor start: what are the Warriors without Baron Davis?
Though everyone said that his departure was a lesson in “you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone,” the truth is that GSW’s 14-31 record could just as easily have been a result of Monta’s absence. In the two games that he’s been back, the Warriors have looked different. They lost 106-105 to one of the best team’s in the League, playing the brand of basketball we saw from them circa 2006. Four guys scored more than 15 points against Cleveland, and all four of them played a little bit of point guard. But that didn’t hinder their flow. Instead, it helped everyone to remain active, playing the type of synchronized basketball that you’d expect from a park team with years of experience running together.
Two nights ago, they decapitated the helpless Clippers. I could try and say that shows how Monta was the key and he’ll make everyone forget about Baron, but beating the Clippers doesn’t mean much right now except that your team has a pulse.
If the Warriors can go into Dallas with their full complement and win against a team who needs every W, can we say that Golden State is on the right track after all?